New York Yankees 2000 World Series: Collector’s Edition, The (DVD Review)28 Oct, 2013 By: Mike Clark
In the 1940s, a New York Subway (World) Series meant the memorable 1941, 1947 and 1949 skirmishes, all of them Yankees vs. Dodgers. In the ’50s, it meant 1951-53 and 1955-56, all Yankees-Dodgers except for the 1951 Yankees-Giants matchup. After that — nothing —- because the Giants and Dodgers then moved to the West Coast after the ’57 season (Yankees-Braves), which means there wasn’t even a possibility of another one unless the Yankees and Mets won respective league championships in the same year, which wasn’t even a viable fantasy for a long, long time. In the last 47 years since that Pacific exodus, a follow-up Subway Series has occurred exactly once — when the Yankees, in 2000, went for their third consecutive World title and fourth in five years. Here it is on DVD from MLB and A&E, with more modest packaging than its bulkier and more extras-packed predecessors
A 5-game affair, it was closer than it sounded: for starters, game 1 went on for 12 innings and nearly five hours, a 4-3 grueller won on a walk-off single by backup infielder Jose Vizcaino, who’d already amassed three hits earlier in the evening. Game 2 was notably bizarre even before we get to its (and possibly the Series’) most memorable moment. Given a 6-0 lead going into the Mets’ ninth after a trio of 1-run innings from midgame on provided what seemed at the time like extraneous insurance, Yankees relievers Jeff Nelson and then (of all people) Mariano Rivera got tagged supremely hard, and the score ended up being 6-5. Amid this Mets revolution, the DVD treats us to the sight of the umpire actually warning Rivera only to blow on his hand for warmth and nothing beyond that — which I suspect is one of the last times that ever happened.
The aforementioned memorable moment was sequel to a frightening interleague play moment earlier in the season when Yanks pitcher Roger Clemens had beaned Mets catcher and supreme-o star Mike Piazza, which set off a degree of rematch anticipation that had been seen only occasionally since, say, Clay-Liston 2. Making this set worth the price of admission almost all by itself, the resulting confrontation ended almost indescribably when a piece of batter Pizza’s pitch-shattered bat flew toward Clemens — who picked it up and threw it to the ground just in front of Piazza, who was running toward first. Fox announcer Tim McCarver, heard here, was incredulous and definitely not in Clemens’ corner. Later, but not that much later, premier baseball writer Roger Angell (in a book on Yankees pitcher David Cone, who was also a former Met) seemed to think it was a tempest in a teapot. Clemens, definitely Mr. Intensity, claimed he thought it was the ball coming toward him and that he, disgusted or at least irked, slammed the Louisville wood chunk to the turf when he saw that it wasn’t. Maybe that’s all it was, but the incident didn’t do much to dissuade many that Clemens was a headcase and not a very likable one. Which is why many regard, say utility infielder Luis Sojo (whose 9th-inning single in the final game eventually proved to be the winning blow) was a “truer” Yankee than game 2’s punk pitcher. But that said, Clemens did pitch eight innings of shutout ball with nine strikeouts in game 2 — and Piazza took Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams to the deepest part of Shea Stadium in game 5’s bottom of the ninth after Sojo had done his damage in the top of the inning.
Every game here is a good one, with of them none surpassing two-run margins, including the Mets’ sole win in game 3 on an 8th-inning double by left fielder Benny Agbayani. And in game 4, Derek Jeter hit the first pitch thrown for a home run, which was the first time that had happened since 1953. Both Yankees fans and cultural historians will get a kick out of this set, though it’s a step down from more lavish past Series boxes that included odds-and-ends highlights or interviews plus even a game or two from one of the winner’s Divisional Series (which would have been especially nice here in what is just a 5-game collection). But you do get what you pay for, and this baby is $30 cheaper than, say, the 2004 Red Sox box, which was quite a production and an imposing box just to hold in your hand.